Saturday, 26 May 2012


First hostel we stayed at we didn't really see the light of day! We were both so shattered that we spended the day sleeping. We dubbed this day "fail day" as everything we tried to do we failed at! When we finnally decided to venture out with a to do list, we failed to get a decent meal, failed to get a sim card for my phone as it isn't quad band, failed to get kate's phone fixed and failed to buy a jumper to replace the one I lost in Santiago so we headed back to the hostel with our heads hung low. Then we decided to head to the cinema to watch the new avendures film, which was a mission as we didn't have change for the bus, so had to go around all the news agents trying to get change. Then when we finally got to the cinema there wasn't a showing for an hour so we had to burn some time. The film itself was excellant though. One of the best action movies I've seen. Then we succesfully managed to get the bus back without dying even though we had to wait in the ghetto for a bus! By this point Kate had scared the shit out of me with travelling horror stories that she was annoyingly blazzay about so I was a bit worried.

The next day we decided to head to the more happening part of town to find a "party" hostel. We found it! I'd been speaking to my dad about the tension between england and the faulklands so decided to pretend to be canadian for the rest of the time while in Argentina. Kate found this painfully amuzing hearing me trying to speak like her! So we booked in for 4 nights at this HI (hostel international) place that seemed to have a good setup and if you bought 3 nights you get the 4th for free. The first day was a bit calm as we just cooked up a nice steak lunch. I maintained my canadian visage for the most part and I think I fooled most people. In the evening Kate and I headed out to the restaurant strip and found a great looking place called johnny be good. It was kind of like a planet hollywood, great music, american food and pretty pricey! The best bit was that they had a 2 for 1 happy hour offer on cocktails so we ordered this baileys/icecream/oreos thing that was like sex in a glass. This thing was good. I mean really good!

The next day was an epic, got up early and headed off to a package tour we'd booked through the hostel that included a hike, absailing, hot springs, then an all you can eat BBQ back at the hostel followed by all you can drink tequilla. The day time was great, the evening was messy! Nuff said about that!

The following day was spent hungover. Unfortuantely we still had to go to see the winerys before we left and as they were closed the following day we had no choice but to head there that day. But the massively silver silver lining was the fact that we'd met a couple of columbian guys who wanted to come along with us. Now at this stage I should say that most people book some gay package deal through the hostel, pay through the teeth and get to see 3 vinyards and get talked at the entire time. Boring! We went independently, grabbed a bus to the nearby area (thanks to the columbians who could speak fluent spanish) went to this place called hugos which was a bike rental company, that offers free wine and off we went. I was on a tandum bike with Kate and the other guys there where the two columbians, a newzealanialian and a canadiagon. (you may have noticed I'm getting a bit ADD having spent the last 3 hours in front of this PC). So off we went to visit these winaries and it was great. The wineries themself were ok, but it was riding around on the bikes that made it so much fun. It was just like something from a cheesey movie! We got back to Hugos around 6 and he stays open till 8 lashing out gallons of free wine and hugs. The guy was a hero! Then we headed back to town, had a crap meal at a resteraunt and headed to bed.

The next day was another "fail day". Didn't do a lot and everything we attempted to do ended in fail. and I was suffering from 2 days accumilated hangover!

Still to come on pete's adventures; more hitching, cordoba, rosario, Buenos Aires and Uruguay......

Valpariso and Santiago

What to say about valpariso? It's really hilly and plastered with graffiti and now that I think about it, one of the coolest looking city's in SA. Had a couple of very enjoyable duvet days while we were there and a couple of big nights out on the town throwing some impressive shapes. Other than that, not a great deal to report in terms of interesting activities.

Santiago the second time around was kind of weird. Only because it was a national holiday so the entire city was on shut down, and as there were some riots near by to where we were staying there was a cop on every street corner. The night we spent there was spent getting shitted in the hostel and playing a combination of ping pong, pool and table football. Cool hostel! The next day Kate went off to do the walking tour while I nursed a hangover then that evening we went off to grab a meal and try a terrimoto (translates to earthquake) which is an icecream based drink that makes you feel like your in an earthquake when you try to stand up after drinking it!

The most impressive thing to report about santaigo was the bus ride to Mendoza in Chile as the ride goes through the most spectacular mountain range which when lite up at night looked astonding. I didn't bother watching any films or trying to sleep as the view was so impressive. Some people say that you should do that route in the day as the view is so impressive, but if you can stay awake I think it's probably more spectacular at night.

Arrived in Mendoza shattered so went straight to sleeeeeepppppp zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hitching to Valpariso

We set off to the main road out of pucon about an hour later than planned armed with two cardboard signs, one read "The north please" (in spanish) and the other read "Santiago" as that the road we were going to take was heading that way (even though we planned to head further north, to val pariso). The first ride we got was from a guy who was a boat inspector, so he offered to take us on his route, with a couple of stops to examine some boats, then on to the main road. The guy was a hero and had a really cool job. we got to see some ridiculously nice houses and kate got to practise her spanish. I listened intently hoping to pick up a few things as they spoke. after a quick stop for some lunch we then headed to the main road and got a lift from batman. The only thing that made him batman was the fact that he had the batman simbol on the spare tire to his jeep! He was a phisio theropist who spoke ni-on perfect english and the only down side about him was that he was only going 20 clicks down the road!

The next ride was a tad scetchy, but turned out fine. It was a couple of plumbers who were driving a van who offered to take us in the back along with all their tools. I was about 50% certain that this was going to be the end of my existance on this planet but you've gotta take a few risks when hitch hiking. Kate fell asleep and I chose to stay awake to be extra safe so I watched a film on my (now lost) ipod :-(. They took us about half the distance from Pucon to Saintaiago, I imagine around 200k. And they didn't seem that interested in chatting to us which, to be honest, we kind of liked as we wanted to just chill for a couple of hours.

The next ride came soon after from a truck driver. I'd never been in an articulated lorry before so it was really exciting. The excitment soon wore off when I realised how bouncy it is in the carraige! The guy was really nice and was telling kate, who was then translating for me, all about the landscape, the wine fields and loads of other fun facts. It was all going smoothely until kate asked him what cargo he was taking and he said something she didn't understand then he pulled out a knife. For a split second I shit my ass in fear! Then he handed her the knife and told her to look down by her side, to which she produced the biggest, juciest, most succulant looking apple ever. I'm not sure if it was the fear of death that helped the enhancment but this thing was gorgous! And if you hadn't worked out by now, the knife was so that she could cut it up and share it around. About an hour later down the road the conversation came to Mate (pronounced matay) which is a traditional south american drink. He asked us if we'd ever tried it before to which kate responded, no, but I'd like to. She didn't mean right that instant! He pulled over pretty much immediately to a lay by and went to his storage compartment by the trailer and produced a gas stove, tray and the mate container. Now Mate is basically tea but it turns out (we didn't know this at the time) that it's a really valued tradition in south america and there are certain etiquete rules that one should abide by when partaking in a Mate ritual. We broke pretty much all of them! You should never complain that it is too hot, you should never ask for sugar and you should consume all the contents before re-filling it and giving it to the next person. We kept operating on the puff puff pass technique, much to the drivers annoyance! Woops! I was mainly worried that he might have attempted to drug us so that was why I was insisting that he drank some of the same batch as we were. I suppose it's best to be a bit warey and safe than blazay and dead! He took us all the way to valpariso and dropped us off at the bus stop so that we could get into town. After a hike up what felt like mount everist we finally got to a hostel and bedded down for the night. Along with a few bed bugs.....

Gettin' ma Pucon!

Pucon is kind of like a ski resort in the alpes, quiet streets, friendly people and pretty damn cold! I loved it there. I'd taken a bus down from Santiago with the australian girl, Dash, and it was a pretty unconfortable ride. It was a sleeper bus but I didn't get a whole lot of sleep as I was only in Semi Kama class where the seats only go back about 45 degrees. For the full 90 degrees you need to splash out on the full kama which I've heard is well worth the extra splosh. I figured I should crack straight on the the activities so after a couple of hours sleep in the massive tent in the back garden I went off hydrospeeding. Hydrospeed is difficult to explain, but if you have a look at this: it should explain. It's basically where you lay face first in a foam surfboard and go down rapids that you would normally go down in an inflatable raft. There was 17 of us in the group, 16 israilies and me! They were all super nice (been hanging around with a canadian too long!) and kept making sure I was included in their conversations during the day. There was a couple of moments when I felt like i was going to die, especially as it was such a large group that we kept ramming into each other. It was like hurding cats most of the time! All in all though it was ridonculously fun and I'd highly recomend it.

The next couple of days were mainly spent watching the champions league quarter finals down the pub with Kate, Dan (both canadian) and a sweedish guy called Jonas. I enjoyed explaining the rules to the canadians and telling them about some of the funnier side of football (EG mario bibatelli, why everyone hates Ashley cole, the waste of money that is fernando torres etc). The evenings were largely spent getting shit canned on closs, which is really nice and really cheap boxed merlot wine. Love that stuff. Oh, and playing lots of card based drinking games :-)

One of the days Jonas and I headed to the hot springs which was pretty nice. We decided to go independently rather than via a tour from the hostel which saved us half the price. This was on advise from kate, who has helped me save a small fortune over the last couple of weeks by not going through hostels and hitch hiking rather than paying for busses. It wasn't the best hot springs I've been to, but as it was the first I really liked it! Got chatting to a few local women who were there and within the space of 10 minutes I spoke in German, French, Spanish and English! Pretty proud of that! Oh, and speaking of languages I managed to tell a joke in French to one of the french guys staying at the hostel, the one about 3 sausages in a frying pan.

My penaltimate day in Pucon was spent walking to a waterfall outside of town. I was under the impression that it was only a half an hour walk to get there, it took about 3 hours! This wouldn't normally matter except I'd promised a skype date with Maren which I ended up missing :-(. Anyway, me and my gang of engish backpackers trecked off to find this waterfall, and on the way we aquired a dog. Then another couple of dogs. Then 3 more dogs. pretty soon we had a pack of about 8 dogs escorting us down the road, barking at all the other dogs and chasing after the cars that drove past. It was mental. At one point it got really heated and broke out into a fight and one of the dogs got half it's ear bitten off which was gross! By the time we got to the side road to walk up the hill we had managed to lose all but 3 of the dogs, and despite our best efforts in trying to scare off the remaining ones we couldn't shake them so we let them come along. On arrival at the water fall I was pretty damn impressed. There's something really hipnotic and peacefull about staring at a waterfall. Then we made our way up to the top to peak over the edge which sent tingles of fear down my body. The English guys were bricking it but I was explaining that they were simply over sensertised by western bubble wrap and told them to man up and rock it asian style! That night we had a fairly chilled evening and Kate and I did some prep for our planned hitch hike up north the next day.....

Friday, 18 May 2012

Chile Part 1 - Santiago

Arrived in Santiago off the back of probably the most enjoyable flight in the history of avionics. Really cool lady sat next to me who taught me a couple of spanish phrases, great food, couple of new films and a good 8 hours solid sleep after a few whiskeys. So I arrived in Santiago feeling pretty fresh and grabbed a bus to the center of town. I immediately realized that I should have learnt more spanish before I got here as I couldn't ask the bus driver where he was going! It turned out ok as he arrived pretty much in the middle of the hostel area recommended by Lonely Planet (LP). I decided to aim for the first hostel recommended by the LP as that's where I figured I'd find a few fellow backpackers to make friends with. The people there where cool but couldn't really speak any English so there was some awkward language issues. I got chatting to an Aussie girl who had been in South America for a couple of months and she seemed like a cool girl to hang around with, so when she said she was going to head south I figured I'd tag along for the ride! It was coming into winter so I figured it was best to see the south before it got too cold.

That night there was a fancy dress themed party at the hostel to celebrate the owners 30th birthday. The aussie girl was being unsociable as she was feeling a bit ill so I made my way down stairs and got chatting to a couple of English guys, one was a guy who was here studying and researching, the other was a fat manchester guy who was as impossible to understand as the spanish speaking people! Especially when he got progressively more drunk! So I decided not to have a massive night and went to bed at a reasonable hour.

The following morning me and the Aussie girl took a walk around the town to find a laundrette. Fail. Nothing was open and we just walked around in the baking heat all night! That night I just chilled in the hostel, cooked up some steak and watched the human centerpeed 2. Which is mental.

Ok, just a short entry for now as there's a queue of people waiting to use the computers in the hostel here in Bueneos Aires.

More to follow.......

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Arrived into Melbourne airport and I was very pleased to be greeted by my cousins Callum and Scott. To those of you reading this who don´t know my family, I have cousins in Australia, England and Scotland. One of my Scottish cousins, the aptly named Scott, was working and travelling in Aus so was staying with my Scottish cousins at my Auntie and uncle's house. Not only do my auntie and uncle have a sweet house, they also have a small armada of cars ranging from my aunties ´practical´mazda to my uncles Nisan 350z. Anyway, we headed back to the house to have a chat with the cousins and get up to speed on current affairs as well as a few of my travelling tales.

The next day me and scott chilled and took the dogs for the walk. It was so nice to sleep in a big comfy bed and have a bloody good shower to use. That evening I got to catch up with Auntie Joyce and Uncle Robert with some home cooked food and wine; Heaven!

The next few days where mainly spent catching up with various people I'd met travelling and exploring Melbourne. On one of the days I borrowed Joyces Mazda and drove to the countryside to hang out with a guy I'd met in Thailand. That was a great day, the car was sweet to drive and it was great to see some of the aussie country side and I even did a bit of fishing... . granted at a trout farm, but it was still good fun!

After a couple of weeks of slobbing around the house and generally not doing an awful lot (don't get me wrong, it was bliss, but I was starting to feel a bit guilty for not getting any culture) I decided to book a package tour to the 12 apostles, and it was a bloody good thing I did! Probably the best package tour I've done, but to be fair it was also the most expensive by a country mile. The tour was a 3 day package that went from the city to the 12 apostles via the great ocean road. I'd gone for the cheaper package that involved camping both nights where as most people on the tour where staying in hostel beds. Frankly I had far more fun in the tents than I would have had in the hostel room so I'm really glad I went for that option! What made the tour so great was the tour guide. He was a Kiwi in his mid thirties who had lead a really interesting life. He'd been working as a tour guide in Aus for a few months but before that he had been tour guide in South America so he had a bunch of cool hints and tips to give me and made me really excited about going. He had a bunch of cool jokes and stories and made the tour a really enjoyable experience. The first night we stayed at a place just down the road from the apostles. I got on the most with an English guy called Alex who was new to travelling so I enjoyed giving him some tips for travelling on his own. He was a great guy who was really modest and naturally funny without trying. He also had the sickest Phoenix tattoo I've ever seen! Me and him picked up a box of wine and took it down to have a quick peek at the sunset over the apostles. Then we all played a bunch of drinking games back at the hostel which was surprisingly tame considering how much everyone drank! This one English guy, a doctor in his final year, got really hammered and was totally useless at one of the drinking games we were playing. It was really funny to see his progression from smart sophisticated doctor to giggling mess. There were a few really cool characters there but too many to list here.

The next morning we got up bright and breezy and headed to the apostles to see them from ground level. It was great to see them from the beach and get some cool pics looking up at them. Me and Alex then decided to splash out a bit and take a helicopter ride over the apostles which was amazing (you can see the video on my facebook profile). The tour then continued to a few other spots along the great ocean road including the tower of london rock formation and a few other natural beauties. Then we headed north to the grampians where we would spend the night. The tour guide got us playing a bad ass game called highway bingo which basically involves everyone writing 0 to 9 in a random sequence on the window then tour guide would call out the final number on the number plate for you to tick off (but you had to tick it off in order). I did not win. By this stage everyone on the tour was getting on really well and we had some great banta going on between everyone. That night we set up camp at this cool farm where an aussie guy had a massive section of land. We had a killer BBQ then set up a bonfire and cracked out the guitar for a nice little sing along.

The next morning I decided to splash out again and go for a quad bike tour around the grounds chasing kangaroos. At the start of the safety brief the instructor, who was the same guy who owned the property, asked if anyone had ridden motorbikes before and then proceeded to say that they tend to be the most dangerous as they get over confident. Correct! I was ragging the nuts off the bike and power sliding all over the place before I got busted and he asked me to ride directly behind him so he could keep a closer eye on me! I felt like such a naughty school kid! After the quad biking we drove around the Grampians a bit more and saw some epic views of the landscape before heading back to Melbourne.

All in all my time in Melbourne was brilliant. It was a welcome break to the grime of asia, but at the same time I missed so much of the asian way of life. It reminded me of how negative and controlling the western world is, full of warning signs, moody people, worries over politics, work, possessions, taxes etc. The main negative was the cost, even though I was staying for free and got quite a few free meals I was still burning through money. This, of course, is all relative to the increased wages you get for working so I shall have to work a bit if I want to go back and travel aus again.

I won't bore you with my 3 day tour from Melbourne to Sydney via Canberra. It was a cool trip and I learnt a bunch of cool stuff about aussie politics and culture, but it's not really interesting enough for this blog. Besides, I've gotta go get my drink on!

By the way, I'm in Argentina in a place called Rosario having a ball!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

G´day Sydney!

Australia! Just realised that until now my blog was 2 continents behind! Woops! Anyway, the flight over was kind of weird in that it was a quantus flight but it was with jetstar. I was kind of pissed about that as qauntas flights you get free food and drink but jetstar is a budget airline that ou have to pay for everything. So I sat in my seat then a hoastes came over and said "peter macmillan?" and I thought I was in trouble! But she was just giving me the special quantas style treatment so I got free shit like an inflatable neck pillow, blanket, eye mask, breakfast etc while everyone sat around me got fuck all!

Arrived in Sydney and grabbed a taxi to Rhi´s house. It was great to see her again and we had a nice catch up chat before she had to head off to work. So I caught up on some sleep and chilled for the day until she finished work. Grabbed a train into town to meet up and off we went to the harbour to get some culture. It was weird being somewhere so clean where everyone spoke English, modern cars, and bloody expensive! I had a kangaroo steak which was delish then checked out the operah house and harbour bridge for some touristic (tee hee) photos.

Hmmm, what else did I do in Sydney? Really should't let my blog get this far behind! Oh, took a ferry to the zoo which was good fun. Nice to see some aussie wildlife in all it's glory and even more nice to go to a zoo where I actually felt the animals where content being there. Compared to the zoo I went to in China it was the ritz! Still don't like seeing natural preditors like lions and cheetas in cages but animals like Kawalas and monkeys seemed happy as larry. Whilst we where there we also had a talk on spiders which was really interesting. So there are basically 3 spiders that you should be warry of; Red back, white tail and funnel web. The scaryiest looking spider is the huntsman but it's actually harmless! It was funny to hear that there hasn't been a death as a result of a spider bite in 33 years and yet everyone is scared shitless of them! The main cause of death or injury as a result of spiders is from people jumping out of moving cars because they see a spider!

Whilst I was in Sydney I also hit the main beaches, Bondi, Manly and Coogee. Bondi was a boob fest but other than that not great because it was so busy. Coogee and Manly where much 'nicer' although I'm still not quite sure what constitutes a nice beach! They're really strict on surfing and swimming areas on the beaches which I guess is a good thing. In fact, they're really strict on everything in Australia compared to Asia.

Ok, Gunna rap this up cus there's not a lot more else to write about sydney.

I'll write more on my melbourne activities soon.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Bali and Gili

Headed back to bali for the third time! By this point it was basically a group of 4 of us:

Wayne: a 40 year old guy from Boston, US who was an absolute hero. Acted like he was in his 20s and looked like he was in his early thirtys.
Moniek: a 20 year old girl from new zealand, nice girl, funny but kind of reserved
Cathy: Monieks mate from back home, a tad more adventurous, but not a lot!

We made for a pretty weird group on paper, but our contrast made for an interesting dynamic. So anyway, we arrived in Bali and all the cheap hostels where booked due to it being st patrics day. It was raining and we had spent about an hour walking between places to find somewhere to stay before wayne decided to just throw money at it and pay for all of us to stay in a really nice hotel with AC, hot water, breakfast, nice rooms etc. He said that he travells really cheap and bargains for everything but every now and again he treats himself and just slaps it on his credit card! Legand. We headed out to get a crunk on but it was far too late by that point so the evening wasn´t really that eventfull.

The following morning the fearless four headed off to gili. Now in order to get from Kuta (bali) to the gili islands you have to the north side of the island, grab a slow boat to Sulawasi, then get a bus to the port then another boat to the gili islands. In total this process takes about 15 hours and costs around 10 dollars. However for 20 dollars you can get a fast boat from gili to bali that takes an hour! But we were on a budget so we went for the cheap slow option to get there. This was good fun I supose and charecter building negotiating for all the different transports. On arrival in Sullawasi we negotiated a really good package deal for a nights stay in the town + boat to Gili T + a scuba dive + a fast boat with transfer back to bali when we were done. So we headed out for some food and then hit a live music spot where I butchered Always by Bon Jovi. Once again, a song that I thought would be good but bloody difficult to sing!

Next morning we headed off to Gili T and Wayne managed to find a bloody nice hotel room for us two while the girls slummed it! The place he´d found had a double bed for him and a single for me so he said I could just pay him 10 dollars, which would have got me a shit hole on the island, and take the single. Now Gili T is amazing. I can´t really emphasise this enough! There are absolutely no motorised vehicles on the island so everyone just walks or goes via horse and carrage! The first night we headed out to a live music spot that was doing some cracking covers. I was kind of over singing at this point so kept my head down. We did get proper smashed though! Every night we headed to the fresh food market where you picked your meat that you wanted cooked on the BBQ and paid about 5 dollars for some of the freshest, tastiest fish you´ll ever put in your mouth. Fucking gorgous!

The next morning the four of us headed off to do our scuba dives. Wayne and I had open water qualifications so the girls have a quick crash corse in the basics before joining us on the second dive under constant supervision. The dives where pro, we saw some huge turtles and rode a really quick tide drift that was good fun to mess around in. After the dives we took a wonder down the beach and managed to buy some mushrooms from a bar along the way. The four of us headed back to the room, ate the shrooms then wondered off to the pub pleasently cooked. That night we headed back to the same bar and I got chatting to a really hot norweigen girl before we all headed to a club to throw some shapes, then back to the hotel room to complete the perfect day ;-). Next morning we woke up pretty hung over and spent the day pottering around not doing much. By this point wayne and I were hanging hard and were both pretty sleep deprived. That evening we went back to the same bar but everyone was suffering so I called it a night pretty early. The following morning I found out from wayne that he´d been playing mouth tennis with the 19 year old norweigen girl (litterally half his age!) I´d hooked up with the night before then gone off to a empty boat to close only to be interupted by the arrival of some creepy old man who followed them into the boat! Weird! So he´d only got to bed at 6am and we had to catch the fast boat at 12 so he was really shattered by this point, but I was relativaly fresh. Grabbed the best Nasi Gorang I´d ever had for breakfast (The food on gili was soooooo good) then off we went to the boat. Wayne, bless him, was suffering and I really thought he was going to hurl on the boat! Arrived back at bali and hung out with a couple of polish girls from Bromo before heading off to the airport for my flight to Aus......